How to become a teaching assistant


Have you been considering an exciting role as a teaching assistant? If you’re a sensitive and understanding individual with a passion for building good relationships with children, a role as a TA may be perfect for you. Teaching assistants are often referred to as the ‘backbone’ of a school – providing a special role to provide students with additional help and support. Whether you’re passionate about supporting children and teachers in the classroom or want to gain experience before embarking on a teaching career – you may be wondering how to become a TA. With several different routes available, it can be difficult choosing the most suitable for you and your goals. Find out more on how to become a teaching assistant below.

What is a teaching assistant?

Teaching assistants are classroom support staff who provide extra help and guidance to students and class teachers. 

The role of a TA includes:

  • Delivering tailored learning activities in small group and one-to-one settings
  • Ensure students can engage in learning and stay on task during activities
  • Support the social and emotional development of students
  • Managing challenging behaviour
  • Guiding and monitoring student’s progress
  • Being part of extracurricular activities

How to become a teaching assistant

There are several different routes available to becoming a teaching assistant. There are multiple qualifications that can be useful when securing a role. The option to complete a TA apprenticeship is another route becoming more popular. We also have our own unique route here at i-teachers with our ‘step into teaching programme’ – helping graduates gain experience through TA and support roles.

Qualifications and experience

Individual schools set their own entry requirements for teaching assistant roles in terms of skills, experiences and qualifications and these can vary from role to role. 

Although a degree is not typically required to become a TA having qualifications and experience in related areas such as childcare or youth work can be useful when securing a role. 

Examples of useful qualifications include:

  • Level 1 Award in Preparing to Work in Schools
  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
  • Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools. 

Many of these qualifications involve working and gaining experience in an education setting to thoroughly prepare you for a career as a teaching assistant and can be a useful stepping stone to your end goal.

Teaching assistant apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular option for people interested in becoming a teaching assistant, especially for individuals without previously related qualifications. 

It’s possible to take a Level 2 or 3, intermediate or advanced apprenticeship to become a TA. The aim of the apprenticeship is to teach the essential skills required to support classroom delivery and prepare individuals with the support they need to become a successful teaching assistant – all whilst earning as you’re learning. 

Teaching Assistant apprenticeships are available to people with GCSE’s in English and Maths, graded 9-4 or Functional Skills Level 2.

Our Step into Teaching Programme

Here at i-teachers we offer an exclusive approach to becoming a teaching assistant through our very own ‘Step into Teaching Programme’. Our programme is perfectly suited to graduates looking to take their first steps into a career in education as a TA. Our team of experienced education consultants will place you in a paid teaching assistant position that is perfectly suited to your skill set, in a school that suits your personality. This allows you to truly experience life as a TA, learn how to be a great educator from experienced teaching professionals and truly impact the life of students – all whilst working in a fully supportive environment. 

We offer a wide range of roles, often linked to your degree subject and personal goals. Roles range from Primary Teaching Assistants to subject specific Secondary Teaching Assistants and SEN Support roles. As we are a national company, you also have the choice of where in the UK you would prefer to be located. We offer TA roles across London, Manchester, Yorkshire and the Midlands – in a wide range of school types.

How can i-teachers help you to become a Teaching Assistant?

Here at i-teachers, we can help you to become a TA. If you are a graduate with a strong academic background and a passion for education then we can help you find your next role on the career ladder.

Our dedicated team of consultants are highly experienced in placing talented candidates in fantastic teaching assistant roles across the UK. We have an extensive number of roles available suited to your subject specialisation and your long term career goals. For further information on how to become a TA and how we can help you, contact a member of our team.